Music in Japan – Liam Hynes-Tawa

Dr. Liam Hynes-Tawa discusses his experience teaching the undergraduate course MUSI 145, “Music in Japan from Ghibli to Gagaku,” at Yale in Fall 2020. He highlights some of the unique challenges he faced in designing a course on Japanese music. A reading list has been adapted from Dr. Hynes-Tawa’s syllabus for the course.

Further reading

Eppstein, Ury. The Beginnings of Western Music in Meiji Era Japan. New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1994.

Gottschewski, Hermann. “Nineteenth-Century Gagaku Songs as a Subject of Musical Analysis: An Early Example of Musical Creativity in Modern Japan.” Nineteenth-Century Music Review 10, no. 2 (December 2013): 239-264.

Manabe, Noriko. “Representing Japan: ‘National’ Style Among Japanese Hip-Hop DJs.” Popular Music 32, no. 1, “East Asian Popular Music and its (Dis)contents” (January 2013): 35 – 50.

Manabe, Noriko. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music After Fukushima. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Momii, Toru. “Toward a Performance-based Analysis for the Shō.” Performance and Analysis Interest Group Blog, October 25, 2019,

Picken, Laurence. Music from the Tang Court: Some Ancient Connections Explored. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Yano, Christine. Tears of Longing: Nostalgia and the Nation in Japanese Popular Song. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003.

Yano, Christine and Shuhei Hosokawa. “Popular Music in Modern Japan.” In The Ashgate Research Companion to Japanese Music, edited by Alison McQueen Tokita and David W. Hughes, 345-362. Farnham: Ashgate, 2008.

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